Feb. 19, 2009 8:52 pm
Updated: Sep. 4, 2009 11:31 am
What do you do when you have out-of-town guests in for one day and you want to show them a good time? I solved that dilema last week when I spent a cold and sunny afternoon at Pike Place Market with friends who were in from Los Angeles and New York.
But these big city folk felt a little overwhelmed by it all—even in the off season the Market is the beating heart and noisy soul of Seattle—so we paused for a little attitude adjustment at my favorite Market bakery. After a therapeutic application of hot drinks and God’s own French pastry, we emerged ready to face the crowds and the produce.
A tiny bit of history while my friends check out the goods.
This farm-to-table marketplace was started over 100 years ago as a backlash against retail middlemen who were driving up the price of onions. That opening day in 1907 drew only eight farmers…but they were swarmed by 10,000 eager shoppers.
It didn’t take a Harvard MBA to figure out they were onto something good.
Now the Market has over 200 vendors and 10 million visitors a year, many of whom seem to want to step on my shoes.
Let’s rejoin my friends. They’re ooohing and aaahing over the photo-ready mounds of potatoes and artichokes, Brussels sprouts and eggplants, apples and fennel. Hang on…they’re bagging tomatoes and berries? In February??
Reality check. All the produce is probably not grown around here at this time of year. So what? Come springtime, the Market will be Seattle’s epicenter for locally grown farm-fresh food…for real.
Until then, my inner locavore can lighten up and simply take pleasure in the moment...and bring home a load of vegetables, no matter where they're really from.
How about you? What's on your must-see list when friends are in town? Have you ever visited Pike Place Market? Drop me a line and tell me all about it. I'd love to hear from you!
Artichokes $3.49 each...is that a good price?
Peppers, tomatillos, and potatoes in three colors.
Mighty, mighty Brussels sprouts!
Good health is free gift with purchase.
Can you spot the purple carrot?